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Do your materials measure up?

By Eric Hirsch and Courtney Allison
August 2020
Vol. 41, No. 4
Districts and states have worked around the clock for the past several months to put new structures in place for students to learn safely during an unprecedented crisis. We now know that the challenges of the pandemic are unlikely to vanish anytime soon, and schools will need to stay nimble about how and where they educate students. This moment highlights the importance of curriculum adoptions supported by strong professional learning — a long-term investment that will have an impact in the fall and for many years to come. Instructional materials matter for student success. They mattered before the COVID-19 crisis, and they will matter even more as schools transition into new teaching formats this fall. As educators prepare for an uncertain return to school, many

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Authors

Eric Hirsch and Courtney Allison

Eric Hirsch (ehirsch@edreports.org) is the founding executive director and Courtney Allison (callison@edreports.org) is the chief academic officer at EdReports.

References

Butrymowicz, S. & Garcia Mathewson, T. (2020). Ed tech companies promise results, but their claims are often based on shoddy research. The Hechinger Report. hechingerreport.org/ed-tech-companies-promise-results-but-their-claims-are-often-based-on-shoddy-research

Gross, B., Lake, R., & Opalka, A. (2020). Analysis: Just 1 in 3 districts required teachers to deliver instruction this spring. They musn’t be left on their own again in the fall. The 74. www.the74million.org/article/analysis-just-1-in-3-districts-required-teachers-to-deliver-instruction-this-spring-they-mustnt-be-left-on-their-own-again-in-the-fall

Jackson, C.K. & Makarin, A. (2016). Simplifying teaching: A field experiment with online “off-the-shelf” lessons. National Bureau of Economic Research. www.ipr.northwestern.edu/documents/working-papers/2016/wp-16-11.pdf.

Kane, T., Owens, A., Marinell, W., Thal, D., & Staiger, D. (2016). Teaching higher: Educators’ perspectives on Common Core implementation. Harvard University Center for Education Policy Research. cepr.harvard.edu/files/cepr/files/teaching-higher-report.pdf

Kaufman, J.H. & Tosh, K. (2020). New teacher survey shows that digital materials were not optimal before the pandemic. Now that they are front and center, how should they be used? RAND Corporation. www.rand.org/blog/2020/05/new-teacher-survey-shows-that-digital-materials-were.html

Kuhfeld, M. & Tarasawa, B. (2020). The COVID-19 slide: What summer learning loss can tell us about the potential impact of school closures on student academic achievement. NWEA. www.nwea.org/content/uploads/2020/05/Collaborative-Brief_Covid19-Slide-APR20.pdf

LaVenia, M. (2020). The state of the instructional materials market: 2019 report. EdReports.org. www.edreports.org/resources/article/2019-state-of-the-market-report

Lynch, K., Hill, H.C., Gonzalez, K.E., & Pollard, C. (2019). Strengthening the research base that informs STEM instructional improvement efforts: A meta-analysis. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. www.annenberginstitute.org/publications/strengthening-research-base-informs-stem-instructional-improvement-efforts-meta

Opfer, V., Kaufman, J., Bongard, M., & Pane, J. (2018). Changes in what teachers know and do in the Common Core Era, American Teacher Panel Findings from 2015 to 2017. RAND Corporation. www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2658.html

Steiner, D. & Weisberg, D. (2020). Steiner & Weisberg: When students go back to school, too many will start the year behind. Here’s how to catch them up — in real time. The 74. www.the74million.org/article/steiner-weisberg-when-students-go-back-to-school-too-many-will-start-the-year-behind-heres-how-to-catch-them-up-in-real-time

Wiener, R. & Pimintel, S. (2017). Practice what you teach: Connecting curriculum and professional learning in schools. Aspen Institute. www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/practice-teach-connecting-curriculum-professional-learning-schools


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